Inform 7 documentation and resources

How to Not Lose This Post

Inform 7 10.1.2 and IDEs for Mac, Windows, and Linux. The v10 release notes detail changes and bugfixes.

v10 renders some specifics on this page out of date; it will be updated as soon as is feasible.

Docs for 9.3/6M62

9.3/6M62 language and IDE docs, included in the IDE (integrated development environment).


Excellent : start here.


@Juhana’s Borogove lets you edit and run I7 (v10, 6M62, or 6G60) online: experiment without installing anything. Borogove’s snippets feature allows sharing code examples.

Official packages mentioned below available at: I7 Downloads.


Use the package on the I7 site; don’t use the App store’s. There are known issues with slowness on machines with TouchBars and the cursor disappearing in Dark Mode. An unofficial MacOS IDE release addresses these. Testing examples in Extension Projects doesn’t work.


Use the package on the I7 site (said to work with any version of Windows from XP SP 3 on). Or there’s a current beta release of a new Windows version that allows compiling for 6L02 and 6L38 as well as 6M62. It’s 64-bit-only, and has been tested only on Windows 10, but may work with older versions. Be warned that there have been multiple reports of security/antivirus programs causing problems with it: Avast, AVG, Windows Defender.

Linux The 6M62 IDE package have uses GTK2; for a long time, GTK3 has been the norm, making the IDE hard to build on a modern Linux.

Unofficial rpm/deb IDE packages

The official download page also offers a CLI-only version for Linux, which comes with “the cheesy Perl interface”. Or consult How to use ni, inform6, and cBlorb by CLI for info on using those commands directly. Some projects to help are Vimform7, the Inform 7 extension for VS code, Spaceformacs, and inf7.

Versions of ni prior to 6M62 are incompatible with Linux kernels >= 4.11 (from 2017). To build for 6L38 or older an old Linux in a VM or Windows Inform in WINE are the options (or for 6G60 use online).

The official packages include components that have more recent versions. Some updates:


In general, references written regarding 6L02 or 6L38 remain relevant for 6M62. Version 6L02 had many backwards-incompatible changes: code written for 6G60 or earlier is unlikely to compile in 6L02 or later. This document usually notes the version as of which something was current. The Change Log has exhaustive details:


The Inform 7 Handbook by Jim Aikin (6L38); the I7 Handbook in PDF/ODT; an at-cost print-on-demand Inform 7 Handbook is available.

Ron Newcomb’s Inform 7 Programmer’s Manual (6G60). Overall written for an audience of experienced programmers, but with sections that will be useful to any I7 author: some are linked in References below. (Its previous edition was “Inform 7 for Programmers”.)

@aaronius’ book, Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7. It was for 6E72; Creating Interactive Fiction with I7’s errata provide updates for 6G60. Creating Interactive Fiction’s publisher lists the physical book as available to order and B&N sells an epub of Creating Interactive Fiction for the Nook. (There was never a legitimate PDF version for sale; if you see such, it’s… not legitimate.)

Jason Boyd’s Inform 7 Introductory Guide (6M62)


Compilation produces a Project Index viewable in the IDE lots of details about I7, including things not in the docs: it’s the closest thing to a reference manual. Its Phrasebook Index section (Phrases, Lexicon, Relations, Verbs) is good to check (along with the docs’ General Index) when you half-remember something you’ve heard of and need to find the right term to look up.

The actual syntax the I7 compiler uses to parse I7 code can be found in Languages/English/Syntax.preform in your installation’s Internal directory. The Backus-Naur Form syntax provided isn’t accurate. See the Syntax.preform documentation PDF (6L02). Syntax.preform also lets you see what irregular verbs and plurals Inform 7 handles and how.


Counterfeit Monkey’s Extensions: beyond the many unique extensions, many other extensions included here are modified from their original versions.

Separate from the Authoring > Inform 7 category here, there is a Technical Development > Inform Extensions category chiefly discussing issues with existing published extensions

Glulx/Glk extensions ecosystem

Extension Writing Guides:

Standard Rules

I7 includes the Standard Rules with every game. They’re well-commented and the authority on the I7 World Model and I7’s defaults (they used to be labeled Appendix A of the documentation). They can be browsed in the IDE. (See “Contents” within any compiled game.)

Note the warning in Writing in Inform 27.14: things in the SR that look modifiable may not really be; they could be interdependent with something hard-coded in the compiler. And beware that all of the past three versions’ Standard Rules (6L02, 6L38, 6M62) are marked Version 3/120430, but each is different. (Likewise, 6E59 through 6G60’s Standard Rules are all marked Version 2/090402 but each is different.)

Games/examples with available Source Code

Inform 6

I7 compiles to Inform 6 before that gets compiled to Glulx or z-code. The Inform 6 Standard Library isn’t involved; I7 uses the I6 Template Layer that every Inform installation has under Internal/I6T. These used to be labeled Appendix B of the documentation: their comments often document things that aren’t documented elsewhere.

There are places where the best or only way to do something is by interacting directly with the I6 layer (many extensions do so) and other places where I7 behaviors can be better understood by understanding how they’re an artifact of I6 representations or where reading your project’s auto.inf, the I6 code that I7 generated, is useful to investigate problems.

Useful IntFiction threads/posts


How to Organize/Structure Your Project

There’s no one answer; here are multiple answers (see games with available source code for examples.)



There are known bugs in 9.3/6M62. The Inform 7 bug tracker allows you to search for them, and there may be commentary on them, but for any fixes you would have to upgrade.

The 6M62 Patches by Friends of I7 extension provides fixes for a few known issues.

The version of Inform 6 that ships with 9.3/6M62 is 6.33N. The current version is 6.41. If you have updated to the current version, bugs against it can also be reported at the Inform 7 bug tracker

There isn’t a way to search for known issues in cBlorb or to report them. (It was succeeded in v10 by inblorb.)

The old Inform 7 suggestion forum is accessible by the Wayback Machine.


Inform 6 compiles to your choice of glulx or the Z-machine (v8 only – I7 games don’t fit in the other versions). Glulx interpreters include:

  • glulxe, the reference implementation (C)
  • git (C) (It existed by that name before the version control system existed.)
  • quixe (Javascript)
  • Zag (Java)
  • Emacs-glulx (Elisp)
  • glulxe-httpd (runs a cheapglk-glulxe server-side, making a game playable on the web without distributing its game file)
  • glknode HTTP API to a cheapglk-glulxe

There are many Glulx interpreter applications built for particular systems that include Glulxe, Git, or Quixe. These interpreters make their I/O calls to the Glk API and must be accompanied by a Glk library to actually be useful (Emacs-glulx and Zag’s Glk implementations are built-in). Some implentations:

  • cheapglk (no window, no status line, just streams of input and output; of interest largely for testing and development)
  • glkterm (uses the curses library, widely available in any UNIX-like environment)
  • glktermw (glkterm with “wide char” support, i.e., it can handle Unicode non-Latin-1 characters)
  • remglk (doesn’t directly receive user input or display output to the user; it receives and emits JSON objects, allowing use by other applications potentially across a network)
  • glkote (the Javascript implementation used by Quixe and Lectrote)
  • CocoaGlk (used by the I7 Mac IDE)

Glk per its spec doesn’t offer the text color control that would be necessary to match the Z-machine. The non-standard Gargoyle Glk extensions can do so. Implementations including them:


Z-code interpreters: countless, including:


Tools and Projects



Notable ones for older versions:

I7 in translation

Hosting hosts games online for free, either uploaded or built with Playfic is similar but uses 6G60. If you upload a story file anywhere on the web, it can be played online via an URL. Or, if you release along with an interpreter you’ll get a collection of files with which your game can be played anywhere on the web you can freely upload arbitrary files (c.f. ifsitegen).


IFwiki’s threads on Inform 7

Ryan Veeder’s Basic Autosaving, Advanced Autosaving, Additional Autosaving Techniques

Jeff Nyman:


@mathbrush’s 77 Verbs serves as a trainer in default available commands.

An Inform 7 quine by @Juhana

Updating Code written for 6G60

John Timmons’ Inform Snippets and Inform Manual (PDF) (c. 5U92-6F95)

inform7tips: fresh I7 tidbits Monday-Friday.

Archived I7 website sitemap: many links above are to copies of pages no longer on the Inform 7 website.

Language Comparisons

IF Resource Links has much more of interest to IF authors in general, not specific to I7.

How to Not Lose This Post

This topic is pinned to this category, but by default Discourse unpins a thread when you reach the bottom (that can be deactivated in Interface under Preferences in your Profile). Or you can bookmark it: the bookmark icon is at the bottom of the post (you may have to select a “…” icon to see it). To see your bookmarks, select your profile icon in the upper right, then select the bookmark icon there. If you do lose the post, search the forums for “documentation and resources” or visit while logged out.

Bookmark interface



Rockin; thank you :slight_smile:

Could this be made sticky?


Would be nice to have an I6 sticky as well, preferably A B O V E the I7 sticky so that there is no doubt as to which language is the original and which the knockoff.

1 Like

I would especially push for the link below (which is actually mostly in Inform 7). It’s Appendix A – i.e. the Standard Rules commented and explained literate programming style. To my mind, it’s a vital part of the I7 documentation.

For what it’s worth, I haven’t updated the syntax document for the last build, and don’t expect to do so going forward, because the indexing has improved enough that it should now provide a comprehensive reference for that kind of thing (and it’s automatically cross-linked with the documentation). But if people find the old document useful to browse anyway, that’s fine – just be warned it’s largely been supplanted.


Also, this link to Appendix B, the underlying I6 template layer–just as vital in my opinion as the documentation of the Standard Rules. … index.html


Thanks for the comments folks, I’ve updated the OP.

I third this suggestion. I also recommend that, if the author will be updating the first post, the title be updated, too, so we also know when this was last updated.

Good suggestion, done.

Yay, glad I could contribute in some small way!

I know that one thing I’m only just discovering is how to use the skein and transcripts from it. Is there any website that guides us through that?

I also had no idea how to use the IDE’s features for looking through all standard actions. I’d think if someone could make a youtube video or selection of screenshots to guide a person through, that’d be hugely helpful. I suspect once people know this sort of thing is there, that’s a lot less work.

Finally, one of the big roadblocks I’ve had is knowing which extensions to use. So many times, I’ve been wondering if I should bother programming X and not knowing whether there was an extension Y that would take care of it. I think any one person’s documentation generally catches some good ones, but is there something more general? I know I’d find it useful to be able to see programming examples or evaluations. Beyond the extension authors’ own, which I don’t want to belittle. But it’s more the “wow, other people can use this”

Is anyone aware of these? Does anyone want to create such a page? Are these questions out of the scope of the topic? I hope I haven’t hijacked the thread, but really, I’m glad someone took the time to tie this up, and I thought I’d ask a few more questions while I was at it.

One final thing–let us know whether it might be better to PM/email you with small changes, or if we should just post here.

Posting in the thread works for me. At some point it’ll make more sense to put this somewhere that’s generally editable, like ifwiki, and I’ll probably just post a redirect link in the OP.

Your questions about extensions definitely are relevant, and in fact Aaron Reed proposed something very similar, see this topic I don’t know if he’s gone further than that.

This is a very low-tech way to address this, but I usually go to the Extensions page, click “All Extensions by Category” (or any of the other aggregate links), and do a quick in-page search for keywords related to the problem I want to solve, like “liquid” or “inventory” or whatever.

Regarding better extensions visibility: I think everyone agrees it would be great to have this integrated into the IFDB, or give more sharing and community features to the official site, but it’s as usual a question of volunteer-hours available. We’ve tried to kick-start this a couple times but it involves major work and coordination of effort between several people, and it just hasn’t come together yet.

In the meantime, it would be awesome if someone started a third party site promoting extensions somehow-- I’m afraid it’s not going to be able to be me at the moment, although I’d certainly be open to contributing if a group effort arises.

This has worked well for me. I think it is good and will work for others, too. However, it’s those moments where someone points something out and I say “of course the extension was there, and of course it did this” that work really well.

Sounds like a good idea for a spinoff topic. I would like to be part of this effort, because I think my biggest growths as a coder have occurred when I realized that, yes, you could do this-or-that easily.

Though obviously this’d require a lot of white paper, I have some ideas. However, I also have no idea how to go about building a website, or how to possibly integrate a website into something bigger. Simply giving statistics on how many games use which extensions, and maybe a blurb on how they use it, could be effective. Granted, the quality of the games may not reflect the quality of the extensions, but there’s a lot of “how’d they do this” that gets dispelled pretty in a game, regardless of quality, that you don’t see in an example.

I also have no clue how much/little extension authors tolerate/appreciate having an extra example made that uses their extensions. But in my experience, I generally have to use an extension in a dumb game before I’m brave enough to use it in something real.

Two more I7 reference documents (slightly oldish):
Emily Short’s 2007 draft of an I7 syntax reference at
And a document giving the grammar for I7 in Backus-Naur notation at (Not sure about its up-to-datedness.)

I’d love to read some of Emily Short’s code after seeing in another post that it’s “spectacularly clean.” Organization is an area in which I’m really interested in developing a good practice.

Where’s the source code at this link? For example, here’s the entry for Bronze:

I’m sure it’s just me, but I can’t find a link on this page for the source code.


All of Emily’s released source is linked from here. (It would be sensible if the IFDB pages also had links to it, though.)

Someone has to manually add the link. For example in this entry,

the link is in the upper right.

I think anyone can add the link on IFDB so this would be a good project for someone with a little time on their hands.